As Tuesday, June 30th, 1964, brings our Charter year to close, this first Annual Report should be prefaced with a brief account of the history of the Club up to our Charter presentation night of June 6th, 1963. When our Sponsor Club of Belgrave decided to investigate the possibility of extending Rotary to the Fern Tree Gully area, a preliminary Classification Survey was initiated by Past Pres. Bob Camm with the assistance of the Belgrave Rotarians residing in the area. At this stage Bob was forced to withdraw due to pressure of business and the honour and responsibilities of Dist. Gov. Special Representative were placed on the willing and capable shoulders of Past Pres. Horrie Mickelborough, whose preliminary findings were concluded in December, 1962, and showed at least 58 Classifications were represented. On these grounds permission was granted by R.I. through District Governor Ken Davies, to proceed with the formalities of this Club. After some 500 miles of travel and 150 interviews on Horrie’s part, two information nights were organized for 26 prospective Rotarians and held on Friday, 21st and 28th, 1963, at the Progress Hall, Upper Fern Tree Gully, under the Chairmanship of Special Rep. Horrie. Dist. Gov. Ken Davies was present at the first meeting, which was well supported by Belgrave and Bayswater Rotarians.
Speakers and their subjects were —
- Dist. Gov. Ken Davies: “Object of Rotary”.
- Past Dist. Gov. Len Trigg: “Obligations & Privileges of Rotary”.
- Past Pres. Norm Gartside (Dandenong): “What Rotary Means to the Community & Members”.
- Past Pres. Milt Sells (Belgrave): “Cost of Rotary”.
- Frank Hall (Belgrave): “Membership and Classification”.
- Pres. Geoff Hicks (Belgrave): “Club Service.
At the meeting of the 28th Past Dist. Gov. Frank Buckland of Dandenong dealt fully with the Club Constitution and By-Laws. On the following Monday, March 4th, all the prospective Rotarians attended the regular meeting of the Belgrave Club at Micawber Park as part of their education.
Our organization meeting took place at the Progress Hall, U.F.T.Gully, on Thursday, 14th March, chaired by Spec. Rep. Horrie. Those present were Dist. Gov. Ken Davies of Maffra, Dist. Gov. Nominee Tom Sides, of Morwell, Past Dist. Gov. Len Trigg, of Frankston, and a grand roll-up of Rotarians from our sponsor Club of Belgrave and from Bayswater, Dandenong, Berwick and Box Hill. In all there were 75 present to make our inaugural dinner a resounding success. Dist.Gov. Ken Davies declared the Provisional Rotary Club of Fern Tree Gully duly constituted & we were on our way.
The next milestone was reached on May 16th, when our Charter was granted by R.I., and subsequently presented to our Club by Dist.Gov. Ken Davies at Dandenong Town Hall on June 6th, before a wonderful gathering of 300 Rotarians and guests, which included Dist. 282 Past Govs. Bill Birch of Korumburra, Frank Buckland of Dandenong, Bert Freak of Devonport, Len Trigg of Frankston and Gov. from Dist. 280 Ern Granger. This happy occasion under the Chairmanship of Pres. Geoff Hicks was a fitting climax to the many months of dedicated efforts sustained by Gov. Spec. Rep. Horrie with able assistance of Pres. Geoff and his team of Belgrave Rotarians.
It is interesting to note, gifts to our Club from other Clubs totalled 96 pounds 7 shillings (not including the table gong presented by our Sponsor Club) and ours was the only Charter presented to a Club on the mainland in Dist. 282 during the year 1962-63.
As a token of our appreciation, a presentation of a Cyma automatic date wrist watch was made to Horrie to serve also as a constant reminder of our affection and esteem and as an insurance he would always be on time for our meetings.”